Unsolved Mysteries

Aware of how contentious this subject still is, Burns chose not to interview famous Vietnam figures like John Kerry, John McCain, or Jane Fonda, though the movie does contain interviews with veterans of the North Vietnamese army.  The documentary begins with Peter Coyote’s voice-over intoning, “America’s involvement in Vietnam began in secrecy. It ended, thirty years later, in failure, witnessed by the entire world. It was begun in good faith, by decent people, out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence, and Cold War miscalculation. And it was prolonged because it seemed easier to muddle through than admit that it had been caused by tragic decisions, made by five American presidents belonging to both political parties.” This speech is full of compromises designed to keep all Americans, of whatever political persuasion, watching. Burns and his team obsessed over whether to use “failure” or “defeat,” and ultimately went with the gentler choice. And then

Read more at: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2017/09/ken_burns_the_vietnam_war_american_vandal_and_the_evolution_of_nonfiction.html